Since the start of the 2019 season, Indiana has gone 14-7, including 11-5 in Big Ten play. However, what comes with that success includes departures of many of prominent coaches. This time, Tom Allen went outside the program, and outside of his connections, to get his new defensive coordinator.
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reports that Indiana is “set to hire” Charlton Warren as its new defensive coordinator. Warren, who turned 44 on Sunday, served as Georgia’s defensive backs coach for the last two seasons. Warren attended the United States Air Force Academy, where he played defensive back and then served his country as an officer, before returning to football.
A native of Atlanta, Warren’s last three jobs all came in the SEC, an area with which Allen is familiar from his experience at Ole Miss. At Florida, Warren, helped mold Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (4th round – NO) and C.J. Henderson (1st round – JAX) into NFL Draftees. In his first year at Georgia, Warren’s led the nation in yards per attempt allowed, giving up just 5.6 yards per pass to opponents.
In 2019, under Warren’s tutelage, safety JR Reed was named a consensus All-American and First Team All-SEC at that position, before getting a spot on the LA Rams roster. Current Bulldogs Eric Stokes and Richard LeCounte made First Team All-SEC in 2020. Those two, along with CB Tyson Campbell (2020 opt out), should all expect their names to be called on either Day 1 or Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft in April. CB D.J. Daniel might get selected as well.
On the recruiting front, Warren’s prowess in that area will help Indiana strengthen its already strong ties in the Southeast, while elevate IU’s profile nationally. Warren is currently ranked as 247Sports’ 23rd-best recruiter for the Class of 2021, and Georgia is in the final three for four-star Tallahassee DB Terrion Arnold, along with Florida and Alabama. Warren finished 18th for the Class of 2020. Ohio St. WR coach Brian Hartline (1st) was the only Big Ten assistant to rank higher than Warren in 2020.
Warren nabbed 2020 five-star corner Kelee Ringo, the country’s 4th-ranked recruit nationally, beating out Alabama, Ohio St., Oregon, and Texas. Even then, Warren’s biggest recruiting win may have been in December 2019, when he flipped Louisiana safety Major Burns from LSU to Georgia. Burns hails from Baton Rouge, and LSU was preparing for the College Football Playoff, but Warren still pulled off the heist. While Indiana’s recruiting footprint (and budget) is not at Georgia’s or Florida’s level, Warren’s success on the trail, combined with IU’s upward trajectory, should fire up Hoosier fans.
The school has yet to make an official announcement, but on social media, Warren has already followed Indiana special teams coach Kasey Teegardin on Twitter. Meanwhile, cornerbacks coach Brandon Shelby has given Warren a follow of his own. Shelby and Warren should make up the best coaching tandem in the conference, if not the country, with regards to the secondary. Tiawan Mullen, Reese Taylor, Devon Matthews, and Jaylin Williams are all slated to return to Bloomington, a year after the unit finished first nationally with 2.13 interceptions per game.
Warren’s hiring comes after Kane Wommack took the head coaching job at South Alabama. Wommack is one of six staff members who have left the Hoosiers between this offseason and last. Last week, RB coach Mike Hart went back to his alma mater to take the same job at Michigan. 2019 OC and Broyles Award semifinalist Kalen DeBoer took the head coaching job at Fresno State. Special teams coach William Inge, defensive line coach Mark Hagen, and strength coordinator David Ballou all moved on after the 2019 campaign.
(Photo Credit: Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)